Category Archives: Kvetching

I Did It All For The Stickers

Oh, hi blog, it’s me, Jules. You probably didn’t recognize me because I’VE LOST MY F%$&%@ MIND.

Remind me never to buy real estate again. In fact, remind me to never buy anything again, ever. Okay, maybe toothbrushes. Those get really gross after a while.

Trying to sell your house is like having to, every day for, possibly, ever, tell a 6-year-old Santa Claus doesn’t exist. You don’t know how bad it’s going to be, but you know it’s going to be bad.

Especially when you’ve lost your job and are convinced you can do everything yourself.

Case in point: Buying this year’s Christmas tree became a rushed, haggard ‘staging’ opportunity, as opposed to a magical, fragrant event wherein I blast John Denver and the Muppets and drink egg nog rum.

Christmas-tree-2013

Ever try to chop down a tree with a rusty saw and an eye that tells you 10 feet is 7 feet?

Case in point part deux: In the past month, I’ve learned things about my vacuum that, frankly, I think I was better off not knowing.

Three years together, vacuum, and NOW you tell me?

Three years together, vacuum, and NOW you tell me?

In fact, I was so desperate to get out of cleaning the downstairs coat closet, when Babs (my mom) mentioned needing help at the office yesterday, I gleefully volunteered. She works for an allergist, and while I was sure I’d be of no use whatsoever, she was more than willing to perch me in the front window for the day.

Questions I Was Not Able to Answer

  • Can I come in for a flu shot?
  • Can you talk to my primary care doctor about sending over my blood work?
  • What is your fax number?
  • Can I still have peanut and sesame oil?

Question(s) I WAS able to Answer

  • Can my child have a sticker?
Helping-Babs-for-Stickers

And may I recommend My Little Pony?

How often do you replace your toothbrush? When did you find out Santa Claus wasn’t real? Would you like a sticker?

I Am Thankful For %&$*#@!

Oy vey.

I love the holidays, but deciding to sell my house during them?

Oy. To the. Freaking. Vey.

“Oh, but I lost my job, I’ll have so much time to do everything myself!” -Me, 5 weeks ago, being a dumbass.

“Surely I can just sand that chipped paint on the bathroom ceiling!”

house-fail-ceiling

Oh… that’s not paint… it’s like, like… giant chunks of plaster…

house-fail-paint-chips

…and now it’s everywhere.

“Oh, I’ll just buy a new french door lock from Home Depot!”

house-fail-door-lock

“I AM NEVER F&#$%^^* coming off, so just go eat some more turkey and leave me alone.” -Door Lock

“It’s sooo cheap to get a truckload of mulch! Amazing!”

house-fail-mulch

5 -literally- full days of mulching and this eye sore still remains at the foot of the driveway.

“What a great opportunity to declutter!”

house-fail-piles

NO.

“Free boxes from someone on Craigslist! Yay!”

house-fail-boxes

Do you think I can get rid of these 57 extra boxes on Craigslist before the first open house?

“I’ll just spackle over those holes downstairs!”

house-fail-spackle

Spackle dust doesn’t actually stay in your lungs, does it?

“That swing set out back is so old, it’ll just come apart with a good shove!”

house-fail-swingset

3 weeks later.

And the latest and greatest, the pièce de résistance, my attempt to clean a carpet yesterday:

house-fail-carpet

I can’t even talk about this one.

What also happened yesterday? Babs (mom) sent a picture of my niece’s latest art project. She had to list her favorite relative:

Booya.

Booya. Right up there with chickin.

I guess I do have a lot to be thankful for.

2012-hats

Got any house selling tips? This is a first for me. …Clearly.

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My Life is Hanging in the Balance!

Hiya, Chipmunks.

I know it’s been a little over a week since I’ve regaled you with talking animals and my ceaseless wit, so I thought I’d pop in just to let you know my life is in utter turmoil.

I kid, I kid.

Although.

Right now I’m sitting in a spare office waiting to see if I still have a job [in project management]. They’re laying off 20% of my division’s workforce this month, and today everyone in my department is getting called down to the principal’s office to find out their Fate.

You might think this is an odd time to blog. Especially since I might have a lot of time to blog in the very near future (ba-da-BUM!), but what else am I gonna do? Work?

Nah. I’d rather reminisce about last weekend in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where I did a little of this…

Jules-Hersheys-Kiss-Hat-28Sep13

…and a little of that…

Jules-Peppermeister-Hershey-custom-bars_28Sep13

…and a whole lotta this:

Troegenator might -seriously- be the best beer I've ever had.

Troegenator might -seriously- be the best beer I’ve ever had.

You know, with some time off, I could do a lot of traveling. And video blogging. And pumpkin carving.

Especially once we sell the house.

Oh hang on. I think my phone is ringing.

Have you ever gone through company lay-offs? How did they/you handle it?

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5 Stages of Exercise Grief

Now that I’m living life with a Fitbit (a.k.a. the pedometer on crack), I feel I owe you some dieting advice and exercise tips.

It'll only cost you $100 and your soul.

It’ll only cost you $100 and your soul.

For example, did you know either 8 shots of vodka or a bottle of champagne is a perfectly valid meal substitute, calorically speaking?

And you don't even have to chew!

And you don’t even have to chew!

As for exercise, just take a gander at my personal trainer:

8-minute-legs-Tad

Isn’t he magnificent? I call him Tadd, with two D’s, because he looks like he inspired every DoubleMint commercial ever made.

Slide1

Tadd leads my 8-Minute video work-outs, and is very beautiful and nice. Tadd reminds me to “keep smiling, gang! After all, it’s only 8 goddamn minutes!”

There are four DVDs in here. You do the math.

There are four DVDs in here. Tadd’s not very good at math.

Despite Tadd’s belief in the power of tomato cans as handheld weights and unitards as a general life choice, I leave him feeling less than optimistic.

Sure, my buns are burning up, Tadd, but so is my will to live.

5 Stages of Exercise Grief

Slide2 Slide3 Slide4 Slide5

6-Stages-of-Exercise-Grief

What’s your least favorite exercise? 

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My Bra Is Stuffed (But I’m Still Hungry)

***DISCLAIMER: This post was not sponsored (except by my growing bum). All opinions expressed are my own.***

I’ve got something special in my bra, Chipmunks.

Also a Fitbit.

What the sugar-free fudge is a Fitbit? Thanks for asking. It’s basically a pedometer on crack.

The only thing I HAVEN'T tried to lose weight.

The only thing I HAVEN’T tried to lose weight.

Two weeks ago, a colleague showed me a nifty little device, about the size of a money clip, attached to her belt. “It tells you how many calories you can still eat for the day! It even monitors your sleep!” she said. Much like how Anna made pickle juice sound delicious in my last blog contest, the seed was planted. I wanted one. Bad.

fitbit

“It costs about 100 bucks,” she continued.

Yeesh, never mind, I thought. Surely with my 40 mile/week fitness regimen, I can lose weight for free.

Except I couldn’t. I’d been stuck in a plateau, halfway to my weight loss goal, for almost two years.

I was sick and tired of taking blog photos from only certain angles.

Do you think Adam finds this acceptable?

Do you think Adam finds this acceptable?

Of not wanting my profile captured.

Ah, those carefree, go-ahead-take-a-picture-from-any-angle days!

Ah, those carefree, single-chinned days!

Don’t even get me started on full body shots and bathing suits!

Back in 2005, I thought I could even get away with a fanny back.

Back in 2005, I thought I could even get away with a fanny back.

To make matters worse, I couldn’t throw a Twinkie without hitting someone ridiculously fit. My sister just finished her ten thousandth triathlon in first place, my oldest friend voluntarily ran up a mountain in Colorado, Rachel’s Table did Insanity, Girl on the Contrary signed up for The Betty Rocker Challenge, The Byronic Man ran two half marathons, and Truth and Cake completed Tough Mudder. Just to name a few.

Just... just try it again. It'll go through.

Just… just try it again. It’ll go through.

On Thursday morning, I hopped on my whore of a scale and the writing was on the wall. An hour later, one thing was already lighter. My wallet.

And now this little piece of black plastic between my breasts tracks my every move, dictating my remaining caloric allowance based on activity, height, weight, age and gender. (Provided I honestly report my food intake using my Fitbit online account.)

Thankfully, for the project manager in me, it displays all of these goodies in some pretty neat dashboards and charts, which I can view on my computer or smart phone.

Fitbit-dashboard

It wasn’t long before I realized I was a walking stereotype (pun intended). Despite my self-proclaimed diet savvy, I was severely underestimating my calorie consumption.

Yikes. Guess I should cut back on the zucchini.

Yikes. Guess I should cut back on the zucchini.

I even signed up for a trial premium subscription to check out how I compared to other Fitbit users in my country.

Competitive? Moi?

So now that I know every calorie going in and out, how am I doing?

Super!

I'm not even sober, hungry and cranky!

I’m not even sober, hungry and cranky!

Have you ever used any fitness gadgets? What are your dieting pitfalls and how do you cope?

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Scenes From A Swimless Summer

Having a pool sounds great, doesn’t it? Especially this time of year, when it’s nearing 90-degrees Fahrenheit (and 1,000% humidity) in New Jersey.

Pool-Problems-1-fantasy

Hub #1, Peppermeister, and I were thrilled when we purchased our first home in 2010 – there was an in-ground pool in the backyard! We knew nothing about pools, and weren’t sure what lay beneath the forest green tarp, but hoped it was salvageable. We scraped together our last hopes, dreams, blood, sweat and pennies to open the pool that summer. We assumed things would get easier after that.

Here’s a brief recount of the last month.

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EXT. GO JULES GO’S HOUSE – DAY 1

JULES: We need to do all of the shrubbery trimming BEFORE we take off the pool cover this year.

Pool-Problems-2-shrubs

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INT. GO JULES GO’S HOUSE – DAYS 2-5

JULES: I just dumped another $100 of shock in, and emptied the vacuum 12 times, but it’s not going to get clean if we can’t keep the filter running.

PEPPERMEISTER: I’ll replace the <blah blah whosiwhatsit widget gauge thingamajig blah blah>. For the third time.

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EXT. GO JULES GO’S HOUSE – DAY 6

PEPPERMEISTER: Filter still not working. I called Pool Company #1.

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EXT. GO JULES GO’S HOUSE – DAY 12

PEPPERMEISTER: Did Pool Company #2 come? You made sure to ask them what they did this time, right?

JULES: Yes, they think we need to replace the handle thingy? And you need to call Hector.

Pool-Problems-4-handle

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EXT. GO JULES GO’S HOUSE – DAY 20

PEPPERMEISTER: So it turns out all of those problems with the filter were because…we needed a new filter.

Pool-Problems-5-filter

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EXT. GO JULES GO’S HOUSE – DAY 27

JULES: I got the backwash to work, but can’t get the filter back on.

PEPPERMEISTER: Where did you put the DE powder?

JULES: In the skimmer basket by the pump.

PEPPERMEISTER: That’s not where it’s supposed to go.

JULES: But I watched three YouTube videos! THREE!

PEPPERMEISTER (dialing Pool Company #2): Yeah… uh-huh…okay… yeah… we’ll try that. (adjusts black knobby thing by one of the pipes) Well, now it’s working. But clearly it wasn’t a problem with the filter.

JULES: You’ll have to show me how to do that.

Pool-Problems-6-magic

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INT. POOL STORE – DAY 29

CLERK: Can I help you?

JULES: Yes… I need alkaline.

CLERK: How low is it?

JULES: Umm… 6.8?

CLERK: That would be your PH, not your alkaline.

JULES: Oh right, right, of course! The alkaline is like a greenish-yellow on the test strip. Maybe more like a baby puke.

CLERK: How many gallons is your pool?

JULES: Does 50,000 sound like WAY too much?

CLERK: Well just how big is your pool?

JULES: Pool-sized?

CLERK: You probably have 20,000. You’re going to need to balance the alkalinity first, then the pH. You’ll need 1 lb of this for every 10,000 gallons.

JULES (to self): Well played, math and science. Well played.

CLERK: You’re gonna wanna add half this bag, then wait an hour, then the other half, wait an hour. Then add half of the second bag, wait an hour, then the other half, wait an hour. Keep the filter running the whole time. Tomorrow morning, test the water, then add half of this pH.  So you won’t be swimming today.

Pool-Problems-7-test-strip

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EXT. GO JULES GO’S HOUSE – TODAY

JULES: I tested the water. The alkaline is baby puke color again.

PEPPERMEISTER: I think I’m done with the pool.

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What are your summer peeves and/or pay-offs?

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“I Do”-Wop

When my BFF, Jenn, asked how things were going in Plural Marriage-ville, she was surprised by my answer.

Here’s a taste of why.

Third-Hub-band-1

Third-Hub-band-3

Third-Hub-band-4

Third-Hub-band-5

Hubs-band-Ed

Third-Hub-band-7

Third-Hub-band-8

Third-Hub-band-9

Third-Hub-band-10

Third-Hub-band-11

Third-Hub-band-12

Hubs-Band-b

Hubs-Band-correction

Third-Hub-band-15

Hubs-Band-other-correct

Third-Hub-band-17

3rd-Hub-band-slide18

3rd-hub-band-v2

Hubs-Band-final-correct

Third-Hub-band-21

Julesbandpost

Third-Hub-band-23

Third-Hub-band-24

Have you ever been in a band, or wish you had been? Any groupies out there?

P.S. – Special thanks to Jenn, and to those of you who suggested The Hubs form a band. Less special thanks to Hubs 1 through 3. Now cut that sh*t out.

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Scenes From A Weird-Ass Week

DAY 1 – BED, BATH & BEYOND – EVENING

CASHIER

Hi! How are you doing?

JULES

Good, thanks.

CASHIER

What nationality are you?

JULES

Uhhh… German, Irish. And…English…

CASHIER

Oh yeah, ’cause your accent is just great.

JULES

Thank…you.

How I Think I Sound:

How THEY Think I Sound:

BBB

DAY 2 – JULES’ CAR – NIGHT

JULES

Are those flashing lights? Are we being pulled over?

PEPPERMEISTER (HUSBAND #1)

Yes. Calm down!

POLICE OFFICER

Do you know why I pulled you over?

PEPPERMEISTER

No.

POLICE OFFICER

Both of your headlights are out. Both of them. Both…of…them. You only have one fog light on.

DAY 3 – JULES’ HOUSE – BATHROOM – MORNING

JULES

(stepping on scale)

LIES!!!!!!

JULES picks up PHONE and dials PEPPERMEISTER.

JULES (CON’T)

I need you to find kale. Like yesterday.

I don’t even know who I am anymore.

DAY 4 – JULES’ HOUSE – KITCHEN – LATE AFTERNOON

PEPPERMEISTER (HUSBAND #1)

My mom would like a dark chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting for her birthday.

JULES

I’m on it. I shall prepare everything from scratch, just as I’ve done since I was 9. In fact, I have the perfect recipe! I normally use it for cupcakes, but no matter! What could go wrong?

30 MINUTES LATER…

All the cream cheese frosting in the world couldn't make this right.

All the cream cheese frosting in the world can’t make this right.

DAY 5 – JULES’ HOUSE – BEDROOM – EVENING

JULES

(cleaning)

Oh, what’s this under the side table? An old fortune! Well whatever it says, it’s going to shed some light on my life and tell me what I should do next, I just know it!

Todays-Fortune

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Did you have any ‘off’ experiences this week?

Pssst…next week is my 2-year blog-o-versary! I’m not even sure you’re prepared for what I have in store. Here’s a sneak peek:

The Outfit That Fits Today

Isn't she sassy?

Isn’t she sassy?

I’ve always had a beef with New Year’s. Always. There’s that damn depressing song, for starters. It’s so bittersweet. As if you’re supposed to reflect on the could have beens, instead of the thank god there was’s. And then the expectations. Oh, the expectations!

This weekend, I took my $150 Christmas cash and went shopping at one of New Jersey’s many outlet malls. It was snowing, and the drive took longer than the shopping itself.

I didn’t need anything, but of course that wasn’t the point. One of my favorite stores was having a “70% off everything in the store!” sale.

When I finally got to the snow-covered outlet village, I shuffled into the store, knocking my boots on the black mat inside the doorway, trying to avoid the sales clerks’ glares, and the furtive glance of a boyfriend, who was hanging from his girlfriend’s arm while she chatted on her phone.

It wasn’t long before I realized that none of the pants I chose fit. I tried on a red dress two sizes too small and stared in the mirror.

Well, Babs [my mom] was right. Red really is my color. I guess it’s kind of tight, but, it’s still hot. I could wear this. Yeah! …Or maybe…maybe for my birthday in April it’ll fit…

And that’s when I closed my eyes.

Stop! Just… stop.

There’s some insistent force that tells us buying our goal weight outfit will make us feel better, when in fact all it does is make us feel like a pile of crumbled up rice cakes and diet seltzer.

I was 30 years old, and there was a lesson I needed to finally take to heart.

Dress for the body you have today.

I carefully lined up the five pairs of pants, one dress, and three tops that didn’t fit. In another pile, I placed the one top and one dress that did. I took a deep breath and headed for the register. With only two items.

And yet, in 2013, I want to lose 30 pounds, instead of celebrating the thousand (this might be a slight exaggeration) I’ve already lost. In 2013, I want to finish my memoir, instead of fostering the blog that really inspires me. In 2013, I want to tell myself it’s all too hard, instead of recognizing I’ve done some of the scary work already.

So I’ve got this radical idea. Maybe instead of starting all over, we Just. Keep. Going. Sound good?

How do you fare on New Year’s, and with resolutions?

Oh, Please, No. MY Childhood Relived?!

Oh sure. This looks like a precious baby book to YOU. But what’s inside would make Stephen King cry.

Okay. We all know I have a great family, yadda yadda, and things couldn’t have been that bad growing up if I was on a swim team and had the language skills to say “Oh! Bless you!” after I heard someone cut the cheese when I was 2, blah blah blah…

Oh yeah. It’s all fine and dandy in the beginning.

…but there’s a dark side to my childhood.

I’m lulling you into a false sense of security with my sparse ‘cute’ pictures.

I’m revealing the horror thanks to an exceptional blog called Childhood Relived. At Childhood Relived, Angie Z. focuses on growing up in the 80s, which I think we can all agree is inherently funny. But her quick-wit and memory to match make this blog a non-stop Giggle Fest. I can tell you from corresponding with Angie via email that she is an extremely talented writer, both in and outside of the blogosphere.

Angie has an ongoing Dynomite! contest in which readers submit their most embarrassing childhood pictures.

I don’t know what possessed me to enter.

Because what began as this:

I wish that t-shirt still fit.

Somehow turned into, well, click here to find out.

***SUPER IMPORTANT ALERT THAT YOUR HAPPINESS PROBABLY DEPENDS ON: I’m wrapping up the Go Guilty Pleasures slap bracelet extravaganza, so if you have any unseen slap bracelet pictures, I hope you’ll send them to me at Julie.Davidoski@yahoo.com. Oh and I think you’re swell. Even if you don’t have a slap bracelet.***